Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray labelled his side’s performance in their 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw against former club West Brom as “heroic.”
His side lost captain Charlie Mulgrew after 15 minutes, had Jack Rodwell limp off after 58 minutes and played the final 17 minutes with 10 men with midfielder Richie Smallwood in goal after David Raya had gone off injured as they had already used all three substitutes.
Harrison Reed’s 25-yard strike in the 71st minute drew Blackburn level after Craig Dawson had given Albion the lead five minutes before half-time.
Former Albion boss Mowbray, back at The Hawthorns on a competitive basis for the first time since he left for Celtic in 2009, said: “There were no defenders on the pitch really. I thought it was heroic from our team.
“To have no defenders on the pitch and then finish with 10 men and no goalkeeper on the pitch…it was a heroic performance to get a point.
“I think my team deserve a lot of credit for the way they dug in against the adversity they faced.
“If we had lost by a couple of goals I would still have be saying they were heroic.
“I was delighted with the point and our spirit. That is how we work.
“It was a bit of class from Harrison Reed, who was immense today and we thought we could win it before the incident with the goalkeeper.”
Raya was taken to hospital after suffering horrific damage to his nose in a collision with Albion striker Jay Rodriguez and Mowbray added: “The players were feeling sick with what they saw.
“He is in hospital. The bone at the top has been pushed into the skull almost and the nose is sort of hanging off really. The players could not look at it it was that bad.
“So Smallwood goes in and the boys are calling him ‘The Cat’ now!
“It could have been a hard luck story for us. But we (will) take a point on the way that game went.”
West Brom boss Darren Moore felt his side should have won after Dawson’s first goal of the season.
Albion’s promotion push has stalled after collecting only one point from their last three games and Moore said: “Obviously, we should have won the game on the chances and the way that the game was.
“But it is something to build on. It has been a tough week.
“We wanted to win the game but Blackburn were bitty, they were plucky, they were determined and they came out with a valuable point from their point of view.
“From our point of view it is a point to build on in training and (we will) work on the things that have eluded us.”
Albion struggled to seriously test Smallwood but Moore added: “They had bodies in the way, which is credit to them really.
“We had three or four chances but they got the blocks in. We tried to win the game but it eluded us really.
“My message to the players was that even though we wanted to win the game we came out with a point and now we move on.
“We created chances and if we didn’t have any chances to win the game that would worry me.”